Real-Life Strategies For Organizing Kids Toys


How To Organize Kids Toys

A las, we’ve finally arrived at organizing kids toys. Below, we’ve compiled a list… yes, organizers LOVE us a list. 

These are 6 things you can do to begin organizing kids toys right away.

But I want to preface that organizing kids toys is about them. They’re the ones who will make the mess. They’re the ones who will leave a lego or barbie out for you to step on or fido to eat. 

So, as you process these 6 strategies for organizing kids toys focus on how this works for them.

Prime Your Environment 

First + foremost, everything successful in life is systematized…

We recently sat down with clients who described their morning routine with two young children as a hurricane. We all laughed + I’m sure you are too. Because whether you have kids or not — you can relate. Add children into the mix of morning routines + you’ve got a category 4 or 5 hurricane 🙂

One of the strategies that we put in place to limit + completely remove this morning hurricane was to prime their environment the night before. We wanted to assist them in making this fun, easy + in tune with their routine.

So, before bed, practice forward thinking as parents but also with your kids. 

Visualize what the day entails tomorrow. What you need + what your kids need to have success. 

In doing this, you build the habit of planning ahead (maybe even for the entire week) by cleaning up the toys that are laying around, packing your bag, picking outfits out, knowing what’s for breakfast and/or loading the car ahead of time with anything they’ll be taking with them.

Your mornings then become hassle free where you feel present with your family. Not a few hours of friction focused around “getting the day started.”

Consider investing some time in learning + building a habit of priming your environment with your kids. This simple routine at night will help minimize toys being left out all over the house, in packing their bags + prepping for their day.

Identify Activity Zones

Activity zones are integral to organizing kids toys. If you don’t have activity zones identified then your kids are likely to do painting + crafting on your area rug or drive race cars off the countertops *BROOKS!*

The imagination of kids is fascinating + so whatever trouble they can get into they will, unless you have identified + defined for them where these activities take place.

If this sounds simple it’s because it is. However, unidentified activity zones will lead to a mess. And when kids know where certain types of play should occur, they’ll still test the waters to see what they can get away with but they’ll also be reaffirmed by you that whatever they want to do happens in a specific area of your home.

Create Maintainable Organizing Systems For Your Kids

Brooks is proof that even at the age of 4, kids can maintain organizing systems. The clutter really never stops — there’s always something new + exciting coming into the Monte Household but organizing systems that are easily maintainable by your kids is an achievable goal.

Sure, you may have to add a little muscle to making it happen quickly but the repetition of having your kids organize their own toys is immensely helpful in reclaiming your home. 

  • These toys go over there. 

  • Those toys go in this bin.

  • That stuff in this drawer.

Right away, your kids may struggle to comprehend the importance of why organizing systems matter. But there is an easy + obvious point to make. The moment little Johnny asks where his Spiderman is, you have any variety of these things to say:

  • Have you checked in the action figure bin?

  • Did you put him back where he belongs?

  • Where did you play with him last?

Be it action figures in a bin, hot wheels on a shelf or barbie dolls in a basket, we want our kids to know + expect where they can find what they want, when they want it. 

And for your teenagers, after you’ve identified “where” things go, it’s all about setting clear expectations + holding them accountable in a positive way to maintaining things. Reinforcing for them the perks of not having to stress or feel unprepared.

The best part of it all? It makes cleaning + tidying up, super fast. Having a place you + your kids know where to find things, allows everyone to maintain a system that is well thought out + well organized. 

Organizing Small Kids Toys

One immensely impactful strategy for organizing small toys: things like legos, small action figures or hotwheels is to systematize your storage solutions. 

You don’t want to rush out to by containers before you’ve identified what will go in them + where they’ll be stored in your home. 

However, once you’re at this point creating a unified organizing system with the same sized bins will go a l-o-n-g way in making sure blue legos + green legos don’t mix *wink* or that barbies and race cars can be grouped together in your home but not inside the same bin.

Oh yeah + you’re not stepping on toys… haha!

Organizing Big Kids Toys

When it comes to organizing big toys like large blocks, balls, oversized trucks, dolls or stuffed animals… again consider the scale of the items that need to be stowed away + how you might be able to streamline these particular containers or bins for a shelf, bookcase, or stacked in a closet.

Purge. Without Guilt. But Involve Your Kids.

Yep. You heard it here first. Part of organizing is decluttering + that means you’ll need to purge. But do so without guilt.

And let’s talk about that. Getting rid of or purging your kids toys doesn’t mean throwing them in the trash. The toys that go in the trash are reserved for the well used items that have seen better days, are broken, have missing pieces or simply put, shouldn’t be passed down.

It’s easy to not have guilt in trashing something that’s broken. 

Purging without guilt is about finding the right charitable organization to donate toys your kids are no longer playing with. 

We always recommend you include them in the process. Brooks, at 4, has learned to love giving away toys, masks or costumes that he’s no longer playing with. In addition to his clothes or shoes that are lightly worn. 

I’m not bragging here rather providing evidence that it’s possible for young kids to grow up with purging as a habit. We talk together about what little boy or girl might enjoy this + how they might play with it.

This removes the guilt that can come with trying to minimize the chaos of kids belongings but it also teaches your kiddos a valuable lesson about giving.

Especially if your kiddos are struggling to let go of something, it often helps by explaining to them why you’re getting rid of things. 

  • Emphasize to them that there will still be plenty for them to play with 

  • And also that the things you choose together to donate are because they don’t use them any longer + are going to bring a lot of joy to other children. 

As mentioned above, you could even have them take part in dropping them off. Look at you go momma bear… look at the lessons you’re instilling in your kids!

BONUS: Setup A Homework/Art Station

Take a step back + think about what your kids need to be inspired, encouraged + motivated to accomplish school work. 

If you’re like most, you want to know what to expect + in this sense, our kids aren’t any different. Having a place that has homework supplies like pencils, paper + pens makes an event out of accomplishing their homework assignment but it also reinforces the importance of activity zones because it minimizes toys (a la distractions) in this space.

Don’t have room for a homework station? Absolutely, no problem. The good news is, kids can do their homework practically anywhere. 

We all use our homes differently + that’s what is so great about creating a home you never want to leave. Whether it’s a desk, the dining table, or the kitchen counter… keep it consistent + create a place for their school supplies to return + live when they’re all finished. 

BONUS: Banish Paperwork Piles

Honestly, it doesn’t matter what age your kids are. There’s a-l-w-a-y-s a ton of paperwork. 

Whether it’s information sheets from their pediatrician, an instruction manual for some crazy toy to build, a syllabus that needs signed or paperwork for another school fundraising event; knowing how to organize important documents at home is incredibly important. 

So, how do we keep papers from covering your beautiful kitchen island that once upon a time, you loved so much? 

Easy, if you don’t need the hard copy any longer, scanning + filing the document digitally is the best solution to never having paperwork build-up in your home. 

For action items that can’t be scanned, the best solution is the easiest one for your family. Whether that’s creating a linear filing system, using a decorative wall or tray organizer that’s labeled with in + out slots or even a car organizer…. 

The last thing we want is for it to become out of sight out of mind. Then, it piles up fast + if we don’t make paperwork management a priority, it’s a guaranteed recipe for disaster. The key is identifying what works best for you + your kids + ultimately, keeping paper clutter at bay can be whittled down to two things:

So, where will your kids put important paperwork that comes along with a new toy or with their school work?


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